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Remember Garci

July 25, 2007

Shameless. This is how I describe President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s attempt to bribe Filipino workers during the commemoration of Labor Day.
Speaking like she really won her throne via a landslide in 2004 before a moderate labor organization, Mrs. Arroyo blatantly made her “doable” offer amid nationwide calls on her to address both the labor and economic demands of her people.
Without batting an eyelash, the President, whose people believe she rigged her way to the Malacañang Palace during the 2004 Presidential elections and will cheat again for her cohorts to win in the Monday polls, said: “For our Team Unity congressmen and senators, if in case they win, they can commit in the next Congress, to pass a law exempting wage earners from paying income tax.” One doesn’t have to be genius in order to distinguish the brazen political kernel of such a statement.
But to us, what the President meant to say is: “For our Team Unity tongressmen and senatong, if in case they win, they can commit in the next Congress to ensure the extinction of any impeachment complaint against me.”
Such a presidential rhetoric suggests how cheap the Filipino voters and the sanctity of the ballot have become these days. Cheapness had long inundated this mournful land since the Hello Garci controversy. Sad to say this climate of cheapness is again threatening to even plunge this country into garcillanic depth come May 14.
But are we to let the regime’s despotic tentacles do a Garci over again? Are we to remain fence sitters amid an unabashed culture of cheating?
It is heartbreaking to see that this country is now being controlled by a regime already decayed by a virus of indecency, deception and crudeness.
Action speaks louder than words. La Presidenta is again showing her garcillanic tendencies. No, I cannot brush aside the thought that she would again order a massive cheating for her allies or alipures to reign. This brought us the belief that La Presidenta was not sincere, much less serious, when she made her robotic “I… am… sorry” speech last year. And the highest official of the land does not even have any intent to make amends for the election peccadilloes that she, her husband and her men, allegedly perpetrated three years ago.
If surveys are to be believed then we must be wary of the poll conducted by the Social Weather Station for the Genuine Opposition, which says 40 percent of Filipinos believed that the President will cheat in the up and coming polls for her allies to succeed. The Malacanang Palace was too quick to scoff at the survey, saying it was “highly anomalous.”
It is galling to hear how people under the behest of the President rebuffed the result of the survey. As if they really believe that not too many Filipinos think that their boss will again do a Garci for her own survival in the next congress. Mrs. Arroyo is now hanging in the balance as we wait for the result of the nationwide balloting.
As for the senate, the President can now visibly see the writing on the wall that reads: mene, tekel, upharsin… These armaic words, written by God himself on a wall of Belshazzar’s palace, means “you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.”
That is why I cannot discount the fact that too many Filipinos now believe Mrs. Arroyo will do garcillanic miracles in order to control the political situation in the country.
If she’s true to her words that she wants an honest and credible election, she should have sacked some Comelec commissioners like its Chairman Benjamin Abalos. There is a need to replace some magicians in the commission with people of proven integrity, honesty and impartiality.
It is only through honest and clean election where the Filipino people can exercise their democratic right of suffrage. It is only through election that we are given the chance to directly choose our leaders, er, politicians. It’s the only constitutional hope we have now that almost all of our human rights have been ignored and violated.
Journalists’ right of the press was the first to taste the presidential brunt. Aside from the government-ordered intimidation and harassment on some critical media organizations and journalists, the Congress also passed a law called Human Security Act of 2007 that would trample on the human rights of the people and the right of the press. The right to peaceably assemble had long been abridged since it can no longer be exercised without permit. All of those warranties in the bill of rights now mean nothing to the current regime that is highly persistent to change the Constitution.
The only hope to turn the tides is through a clean and honest election. But it seems that this residual hope is again facing a ferocious beast that is ready to devour our lives and future.
Thank God the Filipino people, tired and mad, are neither that cheap nor stupid to accept the bribe of the President and her men. Nevertheless, there’s nothing new to her offer because most of the benefits she boasted of are government policies that are already in place. Really, I pity the woman.
Again that explains how desperate people in this government have become in assuring their continued existence. That explains how scared Mrs. Arroyo and her men have become now that they begin to see the writing on the wall.
To guarantee his boss’s political survival, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales flagrantly showed the world how highly undeserving he is of his position when he promised a reward of P10,000 to Iloilo barangay captains who would deliver a 12-0 sweep in favor of Team Unity candidates in their respective areas. Shockingly, Gonzales, who deeply believes that Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo committed a crime two decades ago, said there’s nothing wrong with his offer. The official’s action only confirms our justice system has gone pathetic and lunatic.
Worse, the Comelec concluded that Gonzales is only guilty of indecency. I wish there were laws against indecency punishable by life imprisonment with accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification to hold public office. That sounds outrageously funny, although Filipinos are certainly not laughing.
In the run up to the Philippine midterm election, Filipinos should be ready to exorcise the ghost of Garci. Alas, I believe that there’s an apparent official complicity that would take place on and after the Monday polls. But I say, never again!
Before you cast your precious ballot, remember Garci.

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